Category - Prospecting

Quickly Connect With Prospects …But Be Careful!
The Change of Focus Strategy

Quickly Connect With Prospects …But Be Careful!

When prospecting, there’s one trap we all have to watch out for, and that’s making the mistake of redirecting the conversational focus and making it about you rather than the prospect. For example, if someone mentions that they are from Atlanta, Georgia. You might comment, “Oh, wonderful. I was born and raised there!” (So far so good …you’re connecting …you have some things in common to share.) Then you make the mistake of continuing on and tell them about the neighborhood you grew up in, the high school you graduated from in Atlanta, your first job there, your upcoming reunion, …blah, blah, blah. You just made it all about YOU.

You’ve fallen in to the trap of trying to connect by being interesting rather than by being interested. You took the focus off the prospect and put it back on you. Of course it’s important to share your connecting values and interests, but make sure you are communicating your interest in THEM rather than attempting to show them how interesting YOU are. Here’s an example of responding to connect and create rapport, but keeping the conversational focus on the prospect. The secret is to respond and then follow your response with a question. Here’s a sample conversation:

Prospect: “I just moved here from Atlanta.”
You: Oh, wonderful. I was born and raised in Atlanta and still have many friends in the area. Did you enjoy living there? …What brought you here? …Do you still have family there?”

Focus on being interested – not interesting. Don’t worry. If you are genuinely interested in people they’ll find you VERY interesting! Important take away: The very first step in “power prospecting” is to connect and create rapport. Without it no communication will ever be entirely successful.

The Change of Focus Strategy

When prospecting you must make a simple strategy changean adjustment in focus, from “me” to “you.” You do this by acquiring the ability (particularly in conversations) to always put the prospect’s needs ahead of your own. This simple strategy will strengthen your passion and connection to everyone with whom you associate, and positions you to turn your prospects into customers or team members. It is perhaps one of the most powerful business, communication and life strategies you can employ. What’s the secret? Listen More. Talk Less. Ask Questions! In order to become more effective while prospecting, you will want to learn to listen more and talk less. One suggestion is to listen about 80% of the time and talk about 20%. It’s not an exact science or rule, but maybe asking yourself the following questions will help. “Whom would I like to lead the conversation?” The person asking the questions is always the person controlling (and leading) the conversation. If you’re busy answering someone else’s questions, they are in control, which means they are leading the conversation. Just to be clear, you are not trying to control the person, just the positive direction of the conversation. Your job is to become “needs aware.” What do they need? What are they looking for? Where are they hurting? How can you help them? When you’re having a prospecting conversation, two things should be happening: You listening carefully and you asking quality questions. Hint: The more you listen, the better your questions and the more effective you will be.

Copyright © 2014. Monte Taylor, Jr.